Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin explained his decision to fire head coach Claude Julien on Wednesday.
"I had talks with Claude in the last little while and I know the message he was telling the players and what was happening was not the same," Bergevin said, according to NHL.com's Dan Rosen. "It happens in all sports. Claude is a very good coach, it's just at some point the player needs a new voice."
The Canadiens won just two of their last eight games after starting the season 7-1-2. Bergevin said he saw his team trending in the wrong direction and decided to act before things got worse.
"We had two eight-game losing streaks last year, and I saw a pattern I didn't want to repeat," he said, according to The Athletic's Marc Antoine Godin.
Bergevin said the shortened season played a role in making the move when he did.
He added that his decision to promote assistant Dominique Ducharme to interim head coach wasn't impacted by COVID-19.
"Quarantine, no quarantine, Dom was my guy from the time I made my decision," he said.
Bergevin also said he won't be interviewing head coaching candidates and that Ducharme will remain interim head coach for the rest of the campaign and be evaluated after.
Ducharme is the Canadiens' third head coach under Bergevin's reign.